Critically examine if NITI Aayog has been able to bring seminal change in developmental policy making and establishing the bottom-up setup as opposed to the top-down approach that Planning Commission was in famous for.

The NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog is a think tank of the Government of India which was established in 2015, to replace the Planning Commission of India.

The NITI Aayog council is chaired by the Prime minister of India. The council consists of state Chief Ministers, Chief Ministers of Delhi and Puducherry, Lieutenant Governor of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and a Vice-chairman nominated by the Prime Minister of India.

Aim: To achieve SDGs with cooperative federalism by providing encouragement for the involvement of the State Governments in the process of economic policy-making, using a bottom-up approach.

Key features:

  • It provides critical, directional and strategic input into the development process of the country
  • It advises the Centre and states on policy matters
  • Keeping the idea of cooperative federalism, it promotes the national development priorities
  • The conventional one-way flow of policy of center to state of the Planning Commission of India has been replaced by a genuine partnership of states

Key differences:

  • The construction of NITI Aayog is totally different from the Planning commission of India
  • The planning commission used to formulate a plan and then asked for the consent of the states by NITI Aayog enables more input of states at the earlier level of plan formulation.
  • The mechanisms developed by NITI Aayog will help to formulate credible plans to the village level there will be no hegemony of the planning commission.

Comment: In short, NITI Aayog is a perfect organization to bring up the seminal change in developmental policy-making and good governance. The tendency of equal representation to all states in the policy-making process will justify the objective of “Collective Efforts Inclusive Growth”.

Question for UPSC Mains:
While keeping in view three years of its existence, critically examine if NITI Aayog has been able to bring seminal change in developmental policy making and establishing the bottom-up setup as opposed to the top-down approach that Planning Commission was in famous for.

Published: December 8, 2016 | Modified:August 18, 2020

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